Sheltering Walls: Wherever You are

Wherever you are is home

And the earth is paradise

Wherever you set your feet is holy land. . . 

You don’t live off it like a parasite.

You live in it, and it in you,

Or you don’t survive.

And that is the only worship of God there is.

Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole in Earth Prayers, 1991

In our reflections here, we have considered many varied ways that we create and find created for us sheltering walls–walls that secure us, protect us, shelter us, provide space for us to grow and discover the most important things.

As below so above.  In each of these particular experiences of sheltering walls, we begin to experience something that is much much larger.  We find in the particular certain elements of and signs pointing to cosmic reality.  The Earth itself is our sheltering walls.  The Solar system itself is our sheltering walls.  The Milky Way is our sheltering walls.  All the stars that have exploded in stellar history are our sheltering walls as each layer of this existence has provided and continues to provide what we need to be who we are and live our lives with meaning.

When we have glimpses of that reality, we will find ourselves nodding in agreement: wherever we are is home . . . wherever we set foot is holy ground . . . we don’t live off the earth but in it and it in us.  This whole Thing becomes our sheltering walls.

Most days, most times, that’s a thought and an experience that is just too big, and so I go back to the smaller spaces and places where more concrete walls shelter me.  My home.  Your hands and hugs.  Familiar foods and smiles.  Songs that sing my heart back into calm rhythm. Until the next time these little places open me up to the only worship of God there is.

Bob Patrick

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